My Digital Romance: 5 Apps For Couples Only

If social networking was a camera, the last few years it’s been stuck on 12x zoom.  We’ve watched as Millennials (and the users who follow their lead) have flocked to networks built for smaller and smaller networks, not abandoning their Facebook or Twitters, but adding more private networks like Snapchat and Kik to their profile collection in order to have more intimate conversations with friends and families. Now networks are zooming in even closer, with a wave of apps designed for just two people: apps for couples. It makes sense that as communication has switched almost entirely to digital formats, consumers would begin to look for tools to customize that communication according to the relationship of those conversing. And while some might mourn that apps for couples signal an increasingly de-personalized state of interaction between young people, the fact is that the majority of communication between Millennial couples is already likely to take place in the digital world: gchatting or texting while they’re at work all day, Skyping if they live far apart, or sending flirty Snapchats when they miss each other. Apps for couples—while not quite widely used as of yet—could be a natural addition to Millennials’ roster of networks, and can just as easily be used between besties as daters. Here are five apps for couples only to watch:

1. Avocado
As a social networking app for two, Avocado (so named because the fruit grows in pairs) has everything that partners (romantic or not) need to stay in touch from far apart. Private messaging, video sharing, location sharing, a shared calendar and even sketching so you can doodle some romantic notes by hand if you want to. Shared lists, which can be edited by both users, make everything from groceries to bucket lists a collaborative effort. But…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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